LIMA — It will be a construction season filled with both new beginnings and closing chapters for the Ohio Department of Transportation District 1.
On Tuesday, the district held a news conference to kick off its 2016 construction season, one that district Deputy Director Kirk Slusher promises will be very robust, despite not being quite as big as previous years.
“In 2014 and 2015, we had $2.4 billion programs,” he said. “This year’s program will be a $2.1 billion program, which is still above the norm, which is about a $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion program, so it will still be a very hefty program statewide.”
District 1 will be looking at more than 40 projects totalling nearly $50 million, the majority of which will be centered around preventative maintenance, such as pavement repair or resurfacing, culvert replacement and curb and gutter work, such as what is currently taking place along state Route 309 from North Cole Street to West Robb Avenue, with that work expected to finish in July.
Many county motorists will be eager to hear that the work underway on Interstate 75 will wrap up this year in Allen County.
“They will actually be pouring a bridge deck over the railroad by state Route 65 either late this week or next week, weather depending,” district Construction Administrator Darren Schimmoeller said. “Once we get that done, we can make our second-to-last traffic switch and move that traffic onto those bridge decks, the right half of those new bridges. We’ll continue to work on the left side of the bridges and we expect to pour that bridge deck the end of April. We hope to get to our final traffic pattern by the latter half of August.”
In addition, the Hanthorn Road bridge is expected to open June 1, with the bridge deck to be poured in the middle of April.
“It’s all starting to come together,” Schimmoeller said. “The total contract completion date is Sept. 30 of this year.”
While work is wrapping up on Interstate 75, work on state Route 309 will ramp up this year, with 12 culverts to be replaced on the eastern part of the corridor, stretching from La Charreada to the state Route 235 overlap in Hardin County. The replacements will come with several closures, beginning June 6. Traffic signals will be replaced at both North Rosedale Avenue and North Cole Street. The roadway from U.S. Route 30 near Delphos to just west of North Eastown Road will be resurfaced, with curbs and gutters replaced in Elida and the road to be widened to 60 feet between North Eastown and Pioneer Roads. That work will begin in May and run through Thanksgiving.
Other construction and maintenance projects slated for this year include:
•Reconstruction of the state Route 117/501 intersection to make it more squarely aligned, with work set to begin in late May.
•Resurfacing Lincoln Highway throughout the village of Cairo, with work beginning in the summer and causing a 150-day closure.
•Replacing the Napoleon Road, Hook-Waltz Road and Neely Road bridges, causing a 45-day closure on Hook-Waltz and Neely Roads and a 60-day closure on Napoleon Road, with work set to begin in the summer.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.